Michael “Mike” Murray, Sr., 79, of Salem, NH passed away peacefully at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center on
Friday, October 8, 2021 surrounded by his family.
Mike was born in Lawrence, the son of Victor & Harriet Murray, brother to David and Kathy.
He graduated from Lawrence High School and spent his entire life in the Merrimack Valley area. It is there where he made lifelong friendships and met his wife, Arline.
Mike enjoyed hunting and fishing from an early age eventually becoming a member of the Methuen Rod & Gun Club. In addition to being outdoors, he enjoyed traveling to California and Nevada with his son Michael Jr. and friends.
Mike’s true passion was working on cars and riding motorcycles. This passion drove him to opening Best Auto Body in 1972. Owning and operating Best Auto Body was his greatest accomplishment, second only to raising his family. His altruistic personality, matter-of-fact business style and love of cars and motorcycles is why the family-run business has succeeded and why clients keep coming back. His passion was passed on to his son Michael Jr. who has been working side by side with him for 40 plus years. Mike was always at “the shop”. This was his home away from home. In the office writing estimates, taping and painting cars out back. Even when his health began to decline, he couldn’t pull himself away.
When he wasn’t at the shop, you would find him enjoying a nap on Ashleigh’s couch with his granddaughter Charlotte, running errands with Ashleigh or Jake, grabbing coffee with Arline, talking motorcycles with his granddaughter Cynthia, bringing the family out to eat or for ice cream or simply spending time with his children and grandchildren. As good of a dad as he was, when he welcomed his first granddaughter it became clear he was destined to be an amazing grampy/grampa as well. Even kids not related by blood loved him.
While Mike was many things, a fan of professional sports was not one of them. The mere mention of the New England Patriots would get an eye roll followed by a sarcastic quip. He was also not a fan of the feral feline population near the shop or the traffic in and out of Boston. He did however love trips to Mohegan Sun with friends and family. Slot machines were his favorite. They weren’t always winning trips but they always produced laughs and a good meal at Tuscany. He loved to laugh which is why he would listen to comedians on cassette tape and why he watched comedy tv shows. “Two men and a boy” (aka Two and A Half Men) was his favorite of late. Few knew about his love for drawing and how he enjoyed watching a good thunderstorm from the back porch.
Caring, humble, kind, generous, sarcastic, funny. To have known him really was to love him.
Mike was a friend to many known for his sarcasm and dry wit. He will be missed by his many friends, including Jake Feole, breakfast buddy Rick Arvey, extended family, customers and employees of the shop.
He survived by his wife Arline, sons Michael Jr. and long-time partner Christine and Cory and his wife Heather. He leaves his daughters Wendy, her husband Jim, Crystal, her long-time partner Andy, Candice, Ashleigh and Michelle. Stepson David and his wife Joanne. He was also a father figure to John Guimond and Russ Freelove.
In addition to his wife and children, Mike leaves behind 15 grandchildren, Cynthia and her husband Mike, Mackenzie, Samantha, Connor, Nicholas, Nathan, Aiden, Christopher, Joshua, Carter, Alexander, Avery, Sawyer, Mila and Charlotte
He is further survived by his sister and brother-in-Law Kathy and David Potvin and their children Lauren and Jonathan.
Mike was predeceased by his parents, brother David and grandson Alexander Barbagallo
Family and friends are invited to visiting hours on Wednesday October 13, 2021 from 3 pm to 7 pm at the Dewhirst & Boles Funeral Home, 80 Broadway, Methuen. Mike will be buried alongside his grandson Alex in Pine Grove Cemetery, Salem, NH at a later date.
Those that knew Mike knew he was a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy. Dressing up wasn’t his thing.
Because of that, his children will be wearing dad’s signature look. Those attending the calling hours are welcome to dress casually.
In lieu of flowers, his children ask that you show kindness and gratitude just as dad always did by generously tipping waitstaff the next time you go out to eat.
The family would also like to thank the nurses and doctors at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center for their compassionate care they showed to him during his stay.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michael S. Murray, Sr., please visit our floral store.